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Diversity-related factors in research mentorship and publishing in the ACBS community and the Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science (Pages 56-62)

Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science (JCBS)

Volume 26, October 2022, Pages 56-62


Staci Martin, Amanda C. Rhodes, Charlotte D. Brill, Emily K. Sandoz


Gender, racial, and ethnic disparities persist in the scientific community despite increasing attention to research-related equity. Men publish in biomedical, scientific journals more frequently than women researchers and have more leadership roles (e.g., first authorship) in these submissions. Similar differences in scientific publishing appear among under-represented minority (URM) authors compared to White counterparts. These findings of authorship disparities are not consistent across all journals and may relate to mentorship variables. This survey study aimed to investigate gender and racial patterns of publishing and research mentorship within the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS) community, including in the Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science (JCBS). Two hundred and eighty-two ACT for Professionals listserv members responded to the anonymous 31-item survey. Men reported significantly more publications and more first author manuscripts than women, both in scientific journals generally and in JCBS specifically. White versus URM respondents more frequently reported publishing in JCBS, but not in other scientific journals. There were no differences in the total number of barriers noted between men and women or between White respondents and URM respondents. The top barriers to publishing among all respondents were lack of time, institutional support, and funding. Women more frequently reported lack of adequate research mentorship or collaboration as a barrier to publishing in scientific journals, as well as in JCBS specifically; men more frequently reported experiencing publishing barriers related to embargos and not having research that was appropriate for JCBS. Identifying as the same gender as one's primary research mentor did not relate to any areas of training. However, participants whose race differed from their mentor were significantly more likely to report training in running a study and receiving positive encouragement. Being matched in terms of gender or race with one's mentor did not relate to publishing variables. Findings highlight the continued gender and racial disparities in publishing within the ACBS community and in JCBS. Recommendations for decreasing these differences through research mentorship and structured training efforts are provided.

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